Kevin Murriel ~ Why I Need Jesus: An Advent Reflection

Julie Tennent shares some hymns to engage with this Lenten season. Whether you reflect on these hymns as rich poetry or sing them in a personal times of worship, let these be a soul enriching part of your time spent with the Lord. These are also great suggestions for worship leaders when selecting songs during Lent.

Less than two weeks ago I was in my office preparing for mid-week worship when the phone call came. “Kevin, your cousin was killed in an armed robbery this evening.” I felt numb. A young, educated man only thirty-six years old with a family and a promising future murdered in a senseless act.

I am perplexed, saddened, and confused. More like angry, distraught, and indignant.

LAQUAN_McDonald_Chicago_memorial_from_protestorsIn the past month we have witnessed on the world stage a slew of insensate acts of violence from terrorist attacks in Paris to police brutality in Chicago. This week in San Bernardino, California fourteen people were killed in another mass shooting. But aren’t we in the first season of the Christian year? Is Advent supposed to begin this way?

As unpopular as it may seem the reality of Advent is that it doesn’t need to occur in the best of circumstances. In fact, Jesus was born in the midst of terrorism and heinous acts against human life as King Herod terrorized the small town of Bethlehem having all male babies up to two years old killed. Yet, Jesus still came. Hope still emerged.

In the midst of the news reports and the extensive litanies of horrific news, Jesus is still present. Advent it still here.

I am teaching a series in our mid-week worship experience titled, “A Glimpse into Heaven” which tackles pressing questions about our life in heaven based on what the Scriptures present to us.

There is one chapter in Scripture that has continually brought comfort to my soul during this series. That is, Revelation 5. In it, Jesus Christ takes the scroll from the hand of God that has written on it the lamentations and suffering of humanity. A forcible reminder that he is still Lord over all.

This Advent, I need Jesus to be more than a nativity baby in a manger. I need him to be God incarnate among us–the one who wipes away tears, consoles the broken hearted, and brings healing to the nations.

I definitely need Jesus, and so do you.



Dr. Kevin R. Murriel is a pastor and scholar whose research focuses on translating the methods of the Civil Rights Movement into a modern day strategy for social justice and racial reconciliation. He completed his doctoral studies at Duke University and has a heart for training leaders who are passionate about multicultural ministry and improving race relations. He serves as the Senior Pastor of Cliftondale United Methodist Church in College Park, GA. For more information visit